Fact or Fiction: Dipnet Color Makes a Difference



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  • Fact or Fiction: Dipnet Color Makes a Difference

    I've talked to several seasoned dipnetters who say that black-colored nets catch far fewer fish than green-colored nets or clear mesh.

    Evidently, the salmon can see the darker nets and will avoid them. Is there any truth to this theory?

  • #2
    I would agree 100%. Having friends who commercial fish that swear on net color I have to agree. Netting with multiple colors according to them would definatly catch more fish.


    • #3
      I'm no expert, but heres my experience. I've never caught a dipnet fish in a black landing net, though have tried. On a fair day on the kenai, where a friend caught 45, and I caught 35, he switched to his landing net (black net) and didn't catch a thing while I continued to net em. I've seen folks with the black nets not catch a thing, while the folks with the green gill nets around them are pulling them in.

      I float on the kenai, and with a gil net often come in with multiple fish per float, as many as 6 at a time.

      Now if you're on a boat, perhaps the black nets will work, and you won't have to untangle them. But from shore, odds are high the fish will be out of the net before you bring the fish in. They are lively and jump, I've had them fly out of my net and nearly bean me in the head, and I've had them bumping into my legs.
      Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

      If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.


      • #4

        oddly enough this topic came up yesterday while I was dipnetting hooligan. A friend had a dipnet with Blue mesh, mine and another friend had white/tan nets. We definetely outdipped the blue mesh. All three nets has similar mesh and the blue on acually had the biggest opening. With salmon I just use clear gillnet so I don't know.


        • #5
          That's pretty convincing evidence to avoid the black landing nets. Looks like I'll be returning the one with the long telescoping handle that I just bought off the bargain rack for $14.99. Guess there was a good reason why it was so cheap.


          • #6
            My personal experience: for some reason I catch much more fish with green, blue, and transparent nylon nets than with black nets, end every year I look in the stores for the colored ones, but all I find are the black ones !


            • #7
              I shore dipped in 2004 with a landing net. Got zilch. Used green gil mesh last year and did well. Seems to me a lot of the fish hit the side of net outside the opening and got their gills caught and then twisted themselves up.

              With a thick mesh black net, even if they don't manage to avoid it, I don't think it snags their gills.

              They might also hear or sence the water turbulence from the mesh net and steer clear.


              • #8
                It depends

                I think Paul H hit it on the head. It depends on whether you are in a boat or on shore. I use an oversize landing net with heavy black mesh from the boat and have never had a problem getting my fish (best so far is 92 with two people netting in one tide cycle). I think floating downstream in the boat combined with the fish swimming upstream doesn't give them time to react and get out of the way very easily. I keep my boat in gear to push us downstream just ahead of the current which keeps the netting "inflated". When dipping from shore the fish have more time to react and unless you are pushing your net downstream, the netting may not be fully opened.

                Another key to the landing net is to have a deep bag so they can't easily turn and swim out. The gill nets do have an advantage in that they often pick up the fish who swim into the netting from the outside of the frame and get gilled.

                The porcupine is a peaceful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....


                • #9
                  Net Color

                  I agree, I have caught more with the clear green net.

                  Hey Tomcat, why dont you keep the pole and just put a new net on it?

                  I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy!
                  Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice, remember life is expensive and ammo is cheep!


                  • #10
                    Good idea, Adison. I'll look into purchasing a green / clear net and replacing the black one that's on there now. Hopefully, I can find a place that sells the mesh separately and figure out how to get it on the hoop securely.


                    • #11
                      Net material

                      go down to B&J commercial on N. Lights and C in the strip mall on the notrh side of the road next to KFC, they should have the net that you need. I used P-cord to tie mine on the hoop.
                      I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy!
                      Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice, remember life is expensive and ammo is cheep!


                      • #12
                        Thanks for the recommendation. I'll pay 'em a visit.


                        • #13
                          Net color - Kenai vs. Copper

                          I'm sure this is obvious to everyone in this thread, but to clarify for any folks "new" to dipnetting, the discussion of net color is referring to dipnetting on the Kenai River. Net color in the Copper River is irrelevant as the water is the color of chocolate milk.


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